Borno State Governor, Prof. Umaru Zulum, has said plans are being concluded by governors from the North-East to establish a commercial airline for the region.
Zulum who doubles as Chairman, North-East Governors’ Forum, made this disclosure on Friday while declaring its seventh meeting open.
The regional carrier, the governor said, would help to expand the business frontiers of the North-East after years of insecurity that has stalled development in the region.
“Our decision to float a commercial airline, known as the North-East Regional Air Shuttle Limited, for the region is also coming to fruition as soon as a number of financial and technical requirements are met,” Zulum said.
The governor also decried the state of disrepair of Federal Government roads in the North-East.
He lamented the impact of insurgency which had bedevilled the region, urging the National Assembly for improved budgetary allocation for the region to aid reconstruction.
“At this juncture, I need to however make a passionate appeal to the Federal Government and the National Assembly to incorporate into the 2023 budget of the Federal Government the reconstruction and rehabilitation of many federal roads in the North-East region, which have been in deplorable condition for years.
“Although the level of insecurity in the region then was a tenable reason for delaying the reconstruction of the roads, the security situation now has improved tremendously. As it is now, the North-East has the least Federal budget allocation for road construction and it is fair and reasonable for the Federal Government to inject the needed funds for the construction and reconstruction of federal roads within the region. So on behalf of my colleagues, I am calling on the National Assembly, particularly the Senators and Representatives from the North-East zone to, as a matter of urgent priority, include the repairs and construction of a network of Federal roads within the zone,” Zulum said.
Speaking earlier, Gombe State Governor, Muhammad Yahaya, explained that the essence of it meeting which is about two years old was “to take stock and reflect on successes since the creation. For a common front irrespective of cultural and ethnic difference to pursue a common vision towards improving lives of citizens of the sub-region.”
Yahaya disclosed that those challenges that led to the establishment of the forum are still plaguing the region.
“Boko Haram, security threats, climate change disasters,” he added.
While lauding the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari(retd.), for efforts in curbing the security challenges, Yahaya also commended the partnership of security agencies.